[QODLink]
Archive
Indonesia jet crash kills more than 140
An Indonesian jetliner has crashed into a crowded neighbourhood in the city of Medan shortly after takeoff, killing 147 people, some of them on the ground.
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2005 17:14 GMT
The Boeing 737-200 was said to be carrying 116 people
An Indonesian jetliner has crashed into a crowded neighbourhood in the city of Medan shortly after takeoff, killing 147 people, some of them on the ground.

The plane was carrying 116 passengers and crew, but up to 16 passengers survived, including an 18-month-old boy shielded in his mother's arms, officials said.

 

Firefighters struggled to put out the blaze, which engulfed dozens of houses and at least 10 cars, but were assisted by a midmorning rain shower.

 

Transportation Minister Rajasa was quoted by the private Detik.com news Web site as saying 47 people on the ground were among the dead. City hospitals also were treating at least a dozen residents.

The plane crashed a minute after take-off at 10am (0300 GMT) on Monday from Medan city in northern Sumatra, Aljazeera's correspondent in Indonesia, Suhaib Jassim, reported.  

 

Rising toll predicted

 

The toll may rise as the crash area is heavily populated, Jassim reported.

 

Some residents of the area, whose houses are just 500m from the airport, were killed, Jassim said.

 

Forty-seven people on the ground
are reported to have died

Aljazeera learned that the governor of northern Sumatra province, some of his aides and a parliament representative from Medan were all killed in the crash.   


Foul play was highly unlikely, said the airline's managing
director Asril Tanjung, adding that human error or
technical failure may have been to blame.

 

The Boeing 737-200 was operated by Mandala, a low-cost carrier, and was heading to Jakarta when it crashed into a crowded housing complex, a witness, Rizal, told Metro television station.

 

"It happened very fast; no one even had time to panic," survivor Rohadi Kamsah Sitepu, 35, said from his hospital bed. "There was an explosion outside the plane followed by huge flames inside the cabin. Then we crashed."

 

"I struggled to take off my seat belt and then ran through a hole in the fuselage, jumping over charred bodies scattered all over the road," said Sitepu, who escaped with minor bruises to his legs. "It's a miracle I survived. I can't believe it."

 

Densely populated

 

The plane crashed into a crowded
housing complex

The airport in Medan, the largest city on Sumatra island, is close to the centre of town and is surrounded by densely populated residential areas. 

 

Indonesia's last crash involving a jetliner occurred in February, when 26 people were killed when a plane operated by Lion Air, another low-cost carrier, skidded off the runway on Java Island.

 

Mandala, which is partly owned by the military, has recently slashed the number of flights it operates to stay in business amid aggressive competition by newer airlines.

 

Many of its planes are more than 10 years old.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
With social media dominating communication among young Americans, taunting is no longer confined to school hours.
Referendum on Scottish independence is the first major election in the UK where 16 and 17-year olds get a vote.
join our mailing list